They locked their final answers and waited with bated breath for Computerji to tell them their fate. And then there was a starburst. Celebrity status. National respect. Pots of money. It’s been 14 years since the TV quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) first held India spellbound. The show changed the way we saw television.
Its host, Amitabh Bachchan, defined how Indian TV hosts should be. And the prize money, a dazzling Rs 1 crore 14 years ago, changed the lives of its winners. Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) is one of the popular game show in India. The first season of the show was aired on Star Plus in the year 2000. It was hosted by the Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and soon became one of the most liked reality TV shows in India.
Each and every family in the country would sit in front of the television set and answer the questions asked by the megastar. That is one of our childhood memories which we love the most, isn’t it? It’s been 17 years since the first season was aired and the excitement has still remained the same.
Many of us dreamed of participating and hoped to win in this show, but we personally never found the courage to dial the numbers and send the answer! But do you remember the first winner of KBC? A 27-year-old aspirant from Mumbai became a star overnight by winning one crore in Kaun Banega Crorepati.
He is Harshvardhan Nawathe, the first crorepati of Kaun Banega Crorepati who won the prize money in 2000 and since then, his life changed. Nawathe who dreamt of becoming an IAS officer had never expected that he would be participating in a show like KBC.
Life After KBC: Into The World Of Middle-Class Crorepatis
His father was in the Indian Police Service (IPS) and Nawathe was studying for the civil services exam himself when KBC began. In 2000, Nawathe made history as KBC’s very first winner, and the first ever person in the country to win such a massive amount on TV at the age of 27.
In one of the interviews, he shed light on what happened in his life post-KBC. Harshvardhan said, “Can you believe it, I was given police protection, was being mobbed on the road and people would just run over me for the autographs. It was a big-time party for me. I started meeting a lot of big people and started socializing. I had lived a life of a superstar for a year. But yes, this stardom came with a limited life shelf.”
He recalled the moments and said that the show gave me much name, fame, and money and changed my life after that. Winning one crore in the first season of the show was nothing short of a miracle for me. But it was because of this stardom that he could not appear for his civil service exams.
“I lost my focus and didn’t take the civil services’ exam. After getting so much of fame and it was time for me to return to regular life. It took efforts, but I managed to balance it “, he said. One being asked about the prize amount he got, he says that I got the amount after the TDS was deducted.
Nawathe used his prize money to further his education, finishing an MBA from a university in Edinburgh, UK. He also bought his first car (a Maruti Esteem) and a house in Mumbai. Nawathe, now married, with two children, worked with Mahindra & Mahindra. He is currently working in a Dutch-based recruitment company as a non-executive director and lives a regular corporate life.
His wife, Sarika Nawathe is a well-known theatre artist who has done a lot of Marathi films and TV shows.